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Memorial Day – More than a holiday

May 29, 2012

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a nationally observed Federal holiday falling on the last Monday in May.  Commonly designated the “beginning of summer vacationing” or of the “home improvement season” or something else equally unrelated to the holiday, it has devolved in the minds of many to just another day off of work.  However, Memorial Day is far more than “just another holiday.”

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day began during the Civil War under the name of “Decoration Day.”  Widows, and others, would decorate the graves of dead soldiers, with particular emphasis on those that had died in combat.  While there are varying claims for the date and location of the first “Decoration Day,” it was soon established as a federal holiday for honoring the graves of fallen soldiers of the Union Army.  Over time, as some of the bitterness began to fade, the distinction between Union and Confederate veterans was dropped and the focus shifted to the extraordinary American soldier.  As the decades passed, it also grew to include veterans who served The United States in any of her wars.

Significance of Memorial Day today

Someone recently said that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for our freedoms, but Memorial Day is a time to be thankful for those who fought that we might have our freedoms.  This seems to be an accurate way of stating fact.

Memorial Day is a time to remember that freedom does not come cheaply.

It is a time to remind ourselves that the freedoms we enjoy were bought with the blood and sweat of others.  It is a time to realize that those who “bought” our freedoms were special people – not only because of the sacrifices they made.  They were special people because they were brothers, fathers, sons – and more recently sisters, mothers and daughters, to people just like us.

We owe these brave people an eternal debt of gratitude.  I personally am thinking of several family members who have served their country – most in the Navy.  To them specifically, and to any other veteran who might read this,  I would like to express my thanks.  Thank you is, although woefully inadequate, the best way I know to express my gratitude for your service to your country.

May America be bless-able, and may God bless her,

Thanks for reading my thoughts,

Dave

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